July 15, 2008

         

[Hitler's] degraded ethics were all too well-suited to modern man. If you don’t believe me, think about this: How many retarded children have you seen on the street lately? They used to be rather common—before the free, Christian peoples of the West discovered amniocentesis. Which side really won World War II? - Zmirak, via Eric Scheske

He never lived in Texas. - Mama T of "Summa Mamas" regarding Chekhov's quote that "People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy." [Note: Mama T's mother died a couple days ago. Please offer a prayer for her and Terry.]

Jesus' public mission was to reveal His Father...What would have happened if, long before the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles ("and Mary the mother of Jesus") at Pentecost, long before the Apostles even knew that Jesus was the Messiah?...It seems to me that would have only muddled His revelation and confused His disciples. The honor due to the Mother of God is a direct corollary of Jesus' self-revelation; to bring up the corollary before the primary lesson is known ill-befits the wise teacher. So it's not just that Jesus didn't happen to respond in these situations in a manner that makes it easy to demonstrate the scriptural basis for veneration of Mary. It's that He shouldn't have responded that way. He wasn't composing a catechism. He was revealing His Father, and He left it to those to whom He revealed the Father to discover that the light of the Father reveals the light of the mother. Catholics shouldn't try to paper over the development of Marian doctrine that can be found even within the New Testament...We should recognize that the very development that has occurred -- which I'd say Catholics must admit was intended by God to occur over time and not simply be given by Jesus as an explicit teaching -- teaches us important lessons about both the place of Mary (i.e., both logically and historically, distinctly after Jesus) and the nature of Jesus' revelation (i.e., completed but unfolding in time). - Tom of Disputations

We seem to aim at so little today, to have such small interests in mind. No wonder the biotech visionaries have gained a hearing: They claim to be going somewhere. Where they want to go is the destruction of human nature, but at least they are calling us to something beyond ourselves. To be a religious believer is to know that the hungers of the human heart will not find fulfillment without God, but even religious believers benefit from goals short of the ecstatic vision of the divine. A people without any temporal horizons—without any historical purpose or vision of the future—grow enervated and decadent, and they begin to follow strange gods, who promise them meaning. The science-fiction writers had it better: Space is the obvious next horizon for human beings. Want to diminish the biotech revolution to its proper role as a curer of disease? Offer a more exciting goal. Build a rocket ship, and fly it to Mars. - Jody Bottum of "First Things"

I just finished reading Steven Greydanus' fine review of Disney/Pixar's WALL-E, and it reminded me of this post about futurist David Zach. It reminded me specifically of the fascinating talk he gave at the recent annual G.K. Chesterton Conference, because it sounds like in the WALL-E movie, the writers make a common mistake that people make when thinking about the future; that is, they look at recent trends and follow them into the future in a straight line...Now, I call this a "mistake" on the part of the creators of WALL-E, but I don't think it was, really. If they were seriously presenting their ideas of what the future will be like, then it might be a mistake, but what they are doing is actually fine and good for storytellers. They are just exploring recent trends in our society and are using the future to pull them apart and show them to us... using the future as a kind of mirror on our lives. - Tim Jones on Jimmy Akins' blog

Gramm is right when he talks about the psychological toll of relentless recession talk. I have a steady job and I still freak when I see the price of everything go up. But calling people who have lost their jobs or foreclosed on a shoddy motrgage — even one they kinda knew they could not afford — is not the time to call them “whiners.” - Phil Albinus; though if not now, when?

Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the Bible says love your enemy. - Frank Sinatra, via Forbes.com

There is no future for e-books because they are not books...E-books smell like burned fuel. - author Ray Bradbury via "Blog Kindle"

"Look! Aretha Franklin, when she sings 'I Say a Little Prayer', you can sense the power, the range she has available to her, but she keeps it all tightly controlled, in service of the SONG. If she sang in service of her SELF, you'd hear all kinds of crazy flourishes and crescendos and huge long sustained notes; she'd gyrate and bellow and distort the song to suit her own purpose.'

'That is the essence of my argument, that the artist serves the the song.'

'Celebrity is secondary, it is of no importance. It is a matter of integrity."

...."I think that you got no balls, is what...and I think you can appreciate a song without caring what it is 'about'. You have the classic, very classic, North American attitiude toward art, that it's only there for our consumption. You are also cursed, I think, with seeking the meaning to life through art."

"What's wrong with that?"

"Your own experience comes first." - blogger at "A Fortnight at SevenOaks"

You may have read by now the official lie about this treatment, which is that it “simulates” the feeling of drowning. This is not the case. You feel that you are drowning because you are drowning—or, rather, being drowned, albeit slowly and under controlled conditions and at the mercy (or otherwise) of those who are applying the pressure.... I apply the Abraham Lincoln test for moral casuistry: “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.” Well, then, if waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture. - Christopher Hitchens, after being waterboarded (he voluneteered)

As a person who battles despairing, intrusive thoughts during many of her alert (caffeinated and non-caffeinated) hours, I found great consolation in the personal writings of Mother Teresa included in a compilation entitled "Come Be My Light," edited by Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C. And I wept many times throughout the book, mostly at her graciousness toward God in her suffering. "I want to smile even at Jesus and so hide if possible the pain and the darkness of my soul even from Him," she wrote. I spent a week with Mother Teresa and her Sisters the winter of 1994. I stood beside her for about two hours as we distributed Christmas gifts to orphaned children. I sensed a sadness in her. But her light overshadowed it. Unlike a person wrapped in severe depression, wearing the expression of despair, she exuded light and hope. When she prayed, her deep love for God was visible, even contagious. This saint of darkness has much to teach me about how to live with inner anguish. - Therese Borchard on "Beliefnet"

Usually, I think, sinners are said to be those who aren't on the paths of the LORD at all, [but] we might infer from Hosea one reason sinners usually avoid the paths of the LORD: When they're on them, they stumble. Walking along the constricted road is painful and humiliating. Who wants that? No one, really, but if you have an idea of where the path leads, then you're willing to put up with falling seven times, because you can rise again and not stumble to ruin. - Tom of Disputations

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